It's been a couple of weeks since my last blogpost and unfortunately that was due to my laptop getting fixed. The Artist Of The Week will resume once again this coming Friday. But today's post, I'll be discussing more about my overall vision of my website.
OutsideThePhotoPit.com was launched in January of this year and I couldn't be any happier about the decision of creating a music-only website. It goes without saying that I love music, and have been since I picked up the saxophone in high school, and it will forever be a part of my life. The decision to create the website was to provide a distraction-free avenue for people to view my images. I say that because I have another website, RNPhotography.Zenfolio.com, which features more of my family and event photography plus headshots.
For a brief time I did showcase my music photography on the Zenfolio site but then I came to the realization that it would be confusing to a potential client. There wasn't a clear and direct message about what you get should we decide to work together. I wasn't properly informing people just who I was as a photographer. Yes, portrait photography is my foundation and has been my base since April 2012. But since moving to Miami from Los Angeles, I wanted to specialize in one niche...music.
Music is what I know, what I feel, what I remember and most importantly what I see. Therefore, specializing in music photography had been there the entire time since I started in photography 10 years ago. Back in 2006, while playing sax for the 300th Army Band, I created the band's first website and I couldn't have been any prouder. I was putting my Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from DeVry University in Pomona, CA to good use. I had designed and coded the whole site from scratch but I needed more content to liven up the pages. So I bought a Sony Cybershot point-and-shoot camera and began photographing the guys in the band. The next six years, the band became my guinea pig as my evolution as a photographer began.
Since that time, I have progressed forward so much and I'm extremely proud of that. I'm prouder at the fact of the musicians and singer/songwriters that I've had the pleasure of meeting and the relationships I've been building since my move to Miami. I've heard from numerous entrepreneurs about the importance of building and cultivating relationships with ones client base. Building OutsideThePhotoPit.com was the vehicle I needed to establish that infrastructure and people go to one centralized location.
The vision I have for OutsideThePhotoPit.com is to be worldwide! I want my imagery, the people, place and things I photograph to speak to the entire WORLD and not to my next door neighbor. The website is constantly evolving, a work in progress if you will (but then again aren't we all) and in good time the expansion will grow. The latest feature for OutsideThePhotoPit.com is the One Question Interview.
The One Question Interview had been an idea in my mind for several years, actually since 2002. The concept for the interview series came from a movie. I remember watching the movie "Brown Sugar", starring Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan (btw, I have a massive crush on her) in the movie theater where she played a hip-hop reporter. She interviewed different hip-hop artists and began the interview with the question, "When did you fall love with hip-hop?". I've always had been intrigued with that question but I didn't think anything of it at that point in time. However, the question had been lingering in my mind throughout the years. The interpretation of that question became like a ball of energy that kept growing. I asked myself, "how can I personalize that question?" The scheme started becoming clearer when the website was born but I hadn't decided on how to use that question. My intention was this: now that I have the music photography website, I wanted to maintain the theme of the site by including a quick interview series. I saw my music website as the perfect spot to include and proceed forward with that one question motif.
It wasn't until July of this year (last month), where I decided to make the jump and proceed with the plan. The One Question Interview concept was where I simply asked one question to people involved with music. I'm not going to ask the same question over and over again, although I would be getting a different response. I'm doing this interview series as a means to satisfy my curiosity but more than that, I wanted to know what triggered their endless love of music. At this point, I have several thought-provoking questions in mind and I don't know what specific question to ask until that moment in the interview. That's why you'll sometimes see me ponder for a bit on the question.
The alternate reason for having the interview series is to further personalize the people I photograph. If someone from Los Angeles, Miami, London or even Antartica, likes the music from a particular artist, they're going to be curious about them and their motivation. The interview series is there for that special someone to say, "I can relate to what they (the artist) are saying" or "I have that same desire as she", etc. By and large, I'm doing my part to bring more people aware of the fine musicians, bands, singer/songwriters, DJ's and others in Miami. But as I stated before, I want my imagery, interviews and the website altogether to speak to the world and not just to my next door neighbor.
What other plans do I have for OutsideThePhotoPit.com? I have plenty of ideas but I'm allowing the natural process of the website unfold. I will say this though, a podcast is on the horizon. For those that have visited my website, seen the One Question Interview and have followed me on social media, I simply want to say, thank you.